Injury Management: What To Do in The First 48 Hours.

There’s no other reason for a post of this nature – you guessed it, I hurt myself.

The particular offender this time? Snowboarding.

Step 1. Determine the nature of the injury. Identify the anatomical structures involved, the circumstances surrounding the incident. Interview the hurt individual, if possible, to determine what other complications may be anticipated.

During late spring riding, snow turns to slush. It gets heavy, hard to work with. Heavy, slushy snow requires a tremendous amount of metabolic work to plow through (it has been compared to skiing/riding through cement). But even more insidiously, in terrain parks and other heavily trafficked areas, the snow melts, due to the heat of the sun’s rays and the friction created by hundreds of skiers and snowboarders passing through the same lines. In a terrain parks, this causes a buildup of “goo” in a puddle right in front of a kicker, unavoidable if one intends to hit the kicker. Aside from looking messy, this goo has the tendency to kill every last bit of speed one possesses as one travels over it (since the goo sticks to the snowboard/ski, increasing friction, etc.) . Not too good if you need X amount of speed to, say, clear a jump.

And so it was with my injury – last kicker of the last run (always happens on the last run!). There was a giant goo puddle in front of the kicker, which robbed me of much of my speed. I spun a quick (for me) 360 hoping to make it, and my front edge clipped the tabletop, tweaking my back somehow (I think I was in spinal extension and majorly rotated). I was able to scrape the rest of my board around, avoiding a fall, but the damage had already been done. I rode down to the base in extreme pain, with my legs getting weaker and weaker by the moment. Once down, I barely got my bindings undone and immediately lay down.

I have hurt my back before (an “undiagnosed” disc issue at about the level of L5-S1) and this particular injury presented the same symptoms as the previous injury to the same spot. I had intense radiating pain from the level of L5-S1, some pain radiating into and around my right quad/adductor region, and general weakness in both legs.

Step 2. Manage pain: place subject in neutral anatomical position, or a position that minimizes pain . Begin to bring down swelling by adminstering anti-inflammatories or icing the injured area.

I lay down on one of the tables at the base area. My brother-in-law was kind enough to get an ibuprofen tablet out of the first aid kit in my backpack (be prepared, kiddies) and I took it immediately. I didn’t really feel like lying down in the slush, but I suppose in lieu of an ice pack, it would have worked just fine.

Step 3. Rest. R-I-C-E. Rest some more. Seek professional assistance – a doctor for diagnosis, PT for rehab.

I didn’t really do so well on this step:)

I did rest. I did allow Sairalyn and our friends to do things for me (sometimes) while I allowed my back to rest. I did take off one whole day of work.

I didn’t see a doctor. I’m really dumb; don’t follow my example. See a doctor, take days off, let friends and family do things for you. Rest your injuries.

More to follow…

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